Master of Science, Computer Science: PROFESSIONAL TRACK

Online, In-Person or Combination of Both!

As you pursue your Professional Master’s in Computer Science you may opt to take your coursework online, in person or a combination of both, assuring you the greatest flexibility to meet your needs.


An applicant must meet Graduate School requirements to be considered for admission. We expect that students admitted to the professional track will have knowledge of computer programming to the extent of CompSci 250 and CompSci 251. Applicants can demonstrate this knowledge via academic coursework or online courses. Applicants can also explain in their Statement of Purpose if they gained this knowledge via work experience. All admitted students are assigned a placement level concerning their knowledge of computer programming. The students may be required to take CompSci 250 and/or CompSci 251 (or equivalents) based on their placement level.

Recommended Application Deadlines*

Fall Semester: April 1
Spring Semester: September 1
Summer: February 1

*International applicants should have their application complete one month earlier.

Major Professor as Advisor

The student is assigned an initial faculty advisor at the time of admission. The student selects a faculty member as a capstone advisor as s/he follows the professional track, after consultation with that faculty member. Any change in faculty advisor requires the documented permission of the new faculty member and the Department. An initial Program of Study with student, advisor and Department approval should be completed prior to the completion of 9 credits in the program. The final Program of Study must be approved by the thesis or capstone advisor, as appropriate.

Credit and Course Requirements

The student must demonstrate knowledge equivalent to the following four Computer Science courses prior to completion of the M.S. Program:

  1. CompSci 317 Discrete Information Structures
  2. CompSci 351 Data Structures and Algorithms
  3. CompSci 535 Algorithm Design and Analysis
  4. CompSci 537 Introduction to Operating Systems or CompSci 431 Programming Langues Concepts

This requirement can be met in one of the following ways:

  • A grade of C- or better in these courses or equivalent CompSt courses.
  • Passing the sufficiency exams offered by the department.
  • Prior academic coursework approved by the academic advisor.

Graduate credits earned while taking these courses as a graduate student may be used to meet the credit requirements of the program. All students must submit an approved Undergraduate Requirements Assessment (which explains how the requirement will be met) prior to registering for any courses.

Professional Track MSUG Requirement Form

The minimum credit requirement is 31 graduate credits, comprising:

  1. At least 16 credits of 700-level CompSci courses including CompSci 700 (CEAS Graduate Seminar—1 credit only) and CompSci 995 (Master’s Capstone Project) (if taken to meet the capstone requirement).
  2. Up to 9 graduate credits of courses selected from a pre-approved list of non-CompSci courses considered useful for professionals in CompSci-related industries.
  3. The remaining credits must come from graduate-level or U/G-level CompSci courses.

Up to 12 credits of prior graduate-level course work (including up to 6 credits of prior graduate-level Computer Science courses) can be used to meet the credit requirements. No more than one credit each in CompSci 700 or CompSci 870 may be used to meet the requirements. All courses just be approved in the Program of Study. Any non-CompSci courses must be approved prior to registration.

Professional Track MS Program of Study

Pre-Approved List of Non-CompSci Courses (as of 5/3/2019)

  • All CEAS courses with graduate credit with the exception of COMPST 701 and COMPST 702.
  • All INFOST and MATH courses with graduate credit.
  • The following HCA courses:
    • HCA 541 Healthcare Information Systems Analysis & Design
    • HCA 700 Introduction to HealthCare Informatics (2 credits)
    • HCA 722 Legal, Ethical and Social Issues in Health Care Informatics
    • HCA 723 Health Care Systems Applications: Administrative & Clinical
    • HCA 740 Introduction to Biomedical Database Applications
    • HCA 742 Computational Intelligence in Health Informatics
    • HCA 743 Predictive Analytics in Healthcare
    • HCA 744 Text Retrieval and Its Applications in Biomedicine
    • HCA 745 Health Big Data Processing Platforms
    • HCA 760 Biomedical Terminology and Ontology
    • HCA 776 Biomedical Natural Language Processing
    • HCA 789 Biomedical Information Extraction
  • BUS ADM 544, BUS ADM 546 and any BUS ADM or BUS MGMT course 700 or higher except the following: BUS ADM 701, 740, 741, 743, 810, 813, 817 or any Seminar, Internship, Research Reading, Study Abroad, or Capstone Project/Thesis course.
  • Sociology 928: Seminar in Social Organization: Data & Society

Other courses may be added as requested by students and approved by the faculty.

Capstone Requirement

The student must demonstrate the ability to integrate the knowledge of the discipline in one of the following ways:

  • A capstone project completed under faculty supervision by completing the 3-credit CompSci 995 course with a B or better grade. These credits can be applied towards the requirement regarding 700-level CompSci courses.
  • An oral exam based on a prior open-source or professional project completed by the student. The student must ensure that faculty can review the actual implementation of the project. View details.

Financial Aid

Students enrolled in the professional track are not eligible for financial aid from Computer Science department, including research assistantships, teaching assistantships, project assistantships, fellowships and/or tuition waivers. However, such students are still eligible for financial aid available elsewhere on the campus.

Industrial Internship

With faculty advisor’s approval, one credit per semester of CompSci 999 may be satisfied with a supervised industrial internship for a maximum of two credits for the entire degree program.

Switching between Tracks

A student in the regular track may switch to the professional track at any time. However, such a student will no longer be eligible for research/teaching/project assistantships or any other financial aid from Computer Science department. A student admitted under the professional track may switch to the regular track after completing at least 9 credits of the professional track with at least 3.5 cumulative GPA. Note that not all courses acceptable under the professional track may be acceptable under the regular track.

Time Limit

All students must complete the degree requirements within five years of initial enrollment.

Have questions?

Visit our Frequently Asked Questions page

If you have any further questions or comments, please send us an e-mail. We will be looking forward to hearing from you. Send e-mail to CS Graduate Program Representative.